From what I had learned about the skavens from playing them literally nonstop for like the past 2 weeks and improving very drastically, both the Skaven and the Possessed are very dedicated to their style of fighting and when they pull it off, they really shine and they succeed really hard, but if they make an error or two, then it can be very punishing and unforgiving, which makes Possessed and Skaven not beginner friendly.
For skaven, since this is the Skaven forum, the main thing I learned is that when you fight, you always make sure you have a numbers advantage and you try to obtain that through tactical positioning because if you're not fighting at a numbers advantage you are often losing and once you start losing units, the rest start to just crumble and drop like flies left and right because once a skaven unit gets isolated, they can't dodge enough or parry enough to survive the beating from more than say 2 enemies at a time. You can say this is true for other factions as well, but the Skavens have low HP pools. They don't tank damage using HP... they tank it using resistances, dodge, parry, and in the case of the warpguard, armor absorption.
There are 4-5 separate things that help Skavens have an advantage in a fight:
1. using their mobility to their advantage and isolating enemies in small groups where the skaven outnumber their enemies and quickly dispatching enemies before reinforcements arrive.
2. Skavens have great initiative values overall and usually start early in the turn, and this can be used to their advantage with the help of having first reaction during a new turn and also being able to delay to move later if they so choose... this means they can choose and decide when they fight and how they fight! I will go over points 1 and 2 in my video episode 4 in much greater detail... currently uploading episode 3 has been a serious pain since my internet keeps crashing during the middle of it and I have to keep restarting.
3. Skaven can damage juggle, as in they can disengage when they are low health and let their higher health brothers fight in their place while the low health skaven can choose to climb up a wall or something and throw shurikens at enemies on the edges of the fight to give their allies still engaged in the fight an edge. All skaven units can equip shurikens, and yes you can argue that that gives them higher point ratings and you face harder enemies, but being able to do 17-24 damage with shurikens even when you are at 1 hp at the cost of having to go up 5 ranking points in total for each shuriken on your team is a very small price to pay. Not many other factions have this option on their melee units, the Humans have this but I think the Skavens have it best in this department because each skaven will eventually max their Weapon skill and have enough points to spend on their Accuracy score which in turn helps the accuracy of both melee and ranged weapons making their shurikens still relevant.
4. The fact that the skaven has a lot of synergy within itself is a huge advantage. In other factions they rely heavily on units' own individual strengths, but the skavens are masters of fighting as a team. An Eshin Sorceror can lay down a cloud to help ranged evasion and lower enemy melee resist... and then then there's the skaven faction passive Swarm that lets every unit hit with more accuracy and crit chance when they are grouping up on an enemy. These along with the built in skills this game has such as quick incision, demoralize, and war cry makes the skaven team very scary when they are all working together to bring down small numbers of enemies because they can do this very quickly and efficiently.
5. They actually have the ability to "tank" you if they try to restrict fights to chokepoints... so for example, if you don't like your odds in a fight because you already cornered an enemy somewhere and have most of your forces engaging that lone prey somewhere and the enemy team is trying to rush to his aid, you can stick a warpguard in a doorway nearby and he can face off 1v1 against and enemy and stall out many turns while you take out the isolated target before freeing up your warriors to deal with the incoming threat that was held up by just 1 of your guys standing in a doorway. Obviously this isn't always the case, but the option is there if you try to create those situations by using terrain to your advantage.
With all that said, yeah the skavens are scary easy to lose in a fight if you're not careful and mindful of all these things I just mentioned. None of these things were mentioned or taught when you pick up this faction so you just have to learn these things about the Skaven the hard way like I did... I had so many of my skavens killed when I first started this game it's only fair to call it a slaughterfest.... until I figured out these little things... because like I said, if one skaven falls in battle then it's easy to lose ALL your skavens, because you lose your numbers advantage and that is what the skavens are always counting on. This does not mean you have to stay grouped up... if the enemy groups up you can split your team up and wander the map to grab wyrdstones and then the enemy will have to split up and chase your team around. As long as you don't get cornered you can keep running away until you see that you have a number advantage somewhere... like 4 of your skavens are near 2 enemy stragglers and their main army is busy chasing the other 2 of your guys... so you can just swing your 4 guys in to attack the 2 guys and your 2 guys can keep running away since they are faster than most units of other factions... this type of guerilla warfare style is very suited to Skavens.
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